New releases 7/30/19

Top Hits

Long Shot (comedy, Seth Rogen. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 67. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Times review: “‘Long Shot’ isn’t going to save the romantic comedy, but it’s an adrenaline shot of pure pleasure to the genre’s failing heart. The outline is familiar: Two people meet, retreat and then circle each other, all while talking and talking. The romantic comedy turns on people who fit together — in bed, on the dance floor — but also talk to each other, exchanging words that stop flowing and faltering only with a culminating kiss and teasing fade-out. The difference here is that unlike a lot of romances, the woman retains her power and identity, and that’s how the movie likes it.” Read more…)

Hellboy (action, David Harbour. Rotten Tomatoes: 18%. Metacritic: 31. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “Exuberantly British and quite possibly off its rocker, ‘Hellboy’ is a crack pipe of a movie. Rebooting Guillermo del Toro’s 2004 and 2008 appropriations of Mike Mignola’s comic-book character — a rosacea-hued colossus with filed-down horns and do-gooder goals — the British director Neil Marshall turns all the dials to 11 and keeps them there. This aural and visual assault poses the question: Exactly how much stimulation do studios think audiences need?” Read more…)

Fast Color (sci-fi/drama, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Rotten Tomatoes: 81%. Metacritic: 65. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ Times review: “‘Fast Color’ is many things — a dreamlike dystopian drama; a warm celebration of family and female power; a teasing hint of superhero-origin story — none of which fully explains its gentle grip on our attention. What it is not, is speedy, with a narrative that moves carefully, even languidly, and visuals so beautifully patient that we have time to memorize their texture and import. Special effects are all the more so for being used sparingly, and the movie’s few characters feel no need to be constantly explaining themselves. For fairly long stretches, there are no major incidents — which is not the same as saying that nothing happens.” Read more…)

Family (comedy, Taylor Schilling. Rotten Tomatoes: 76%. Metacritic: 60. From Jeannette Catsoulis’ New York Times review: “‘Family,’ Laura Steinel’s lightweight first feature, relies on audiences buying into the old chestnut that difficult women would be happier [or just easier to be around] if forced to care for a child. In this version, the woman is a tactless workaholic who needs to connect with her feelings; just don’t expect those to entail an even greater appreciation for her job.” Read more…)

Body At Brighton Rock (thriller, Karina Fontes. Rotten Tomatoes: 67%. Metacritic: 53. From Joe Leydon’s Variety review: “Filmmaker Roxanne Benjamin spends a tad too much time on the character-establishing setup during the first act of her ‘Body at Brighton Rock.’ Once she has lured her audience into joining her plucky but ill-prepared protagonist into a secluded area of a picturesque state park, however, the first-time director efficiently ratchets up the suspense — gradually, arrestingly — and doesn’t let up until she springs a final twist that plays like O. Henry by way of Stephen King.” Read more…)

The Intruder (horror, Dennis Quaid. Rotten Tomatoes: 31%. Metacritic: 39. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “‘The Intruder,’ a real-estate-based thriller set in California’s Napa Valley, is more silly than scary. This doesn’t seem to be entirely intentional, and it isn’t altogether unwelcome. The idea of Dennis Quaid popping up in your kitchen in the middle of the night might not exactly be the stuff of nightmares. Quaid, playing a deranged ex-homeowner named Charlie Peck, seems to know this. And the director, Deon Taylor, does too.” Read more…)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle (drama/mystery, Taissa Farmiga. Rotten Tomatoes: 88%. Metacritic: 63. From Jennifer Szalai’s New York Times review: “In ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle,’ a playfully arch and unsettling film based on Shirley Jackson’s 1962 novel, there’s nobody obvious to root for; everyone is dour, foolish, phony or deranged. Possibly even murderous. Under Stacie Passon’s precise direction, this gothic fable of isolation and violence expertly treads a fine line between tragedy and camp.” Read more…)

Domino (action, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Rotten Tomatoes: 33%. Metacritic: 40. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “[Director Brian] De Palma can’t realize all the elaborate effects he clearly wanted [the film’s climax occurs at a bullfight that’s conspicuously not crowded]. But his direction often compensates with B-movie energy, particularly when he’s able to concentrate on his perverse vision. The death-dealing, all-voyeurism-all-the-time world that De Palma has been imagining in some form or another since the late ’60s, has, he recognizes, finally come into actual being, and it’s worse than he, or anyone, ever imagined.” Read more…)

Action Point (comedy, Johnny Knoxville. Rotten Tomatoes: 13%. Metacritic: 36. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “If it’s fair to chide ‘Jackass the Movie’ as an extended episode of the MTV show, then it’s fair to point out that ‘Action Point,’ effectively a spinoff of that series, is a lazy summer romp in the ‘Meatballs’ tradition with a handful of ‘Jackass’-style stunts as the scantiest of hooks.” Read more…)

Black ’47 (action/drama set in 19th century Ireland, Hugo Weaving. Rotten Tomatoes: 78%. Metacritic: 65. From Glenn Kenny’s New York Times review: “Directed by Lance Daly, the movie, which was handsomely staged and shot, provides some lively historical detail concerning the exploitation of Irish Catholics. In an aptly harrowing scene, it depicts ‘Souperism,’ wherein evangelical Protestants offered a meal to poor, starving Catholics in exchange for conversion. But the period and its horrors take a back seat to an occasionally exhilarating action-revenge plot, with James Frecheville as the quiet soldier turned killing machine, and Hugo Weaving as a British man hunter with whom he shares a connection.” Read more…)

New Blu-Ray

Hellboy
Long Shot
Action Point

New American Back Catalog (post-1960)

A Rage to Live (1965, drama, Suzanne Pleshette)

New TV

BoJack Horseman: Seasons 1 & 2 (animated N*tfl*x [boo! hiss!] series. Rotten Tomatoes: 67% [Season 1], 100% [Season 2]. Metacritic: 59/90.)

New Documentaries

Hail Satan? (free speech, religion, The Satanic Temple. Rotten Tomatoes: 97%. Metacritic: 76. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From Ben Kenigsberg’s Times review: “As the Scandinavian academic Jesper Aagaard Petersen explains in the film, Satanists were trolls before the contemporary sense of that word existed. The Satanic Temple, founded in 2013, is basically the Yes Men with an ethos, using humor and outrageous behavior to call attention to hypocrisy, particularly when it comes to incursions of religion into the public sphere.” Read more…)

The Most Dangerous Year (civil rights, transgender rights, family. Rotten Tomatoes: 100%. Metacritic: 68. From Ben Kenigsberg’s New York Times review: “The thorniest scenes show tensions playing out at hearings and public meetings, where both sides clash. While ‘The Most Dangerous Year’ can be intensely personal — [director Vlada] Knowlton [who has a transgender daughter] speaks of the pain she felt watching visitors to a strawberry festival sign the petition for the anti-transgender ballot measure — it is primarily an informational documentary, not a film with artistic pretensions. But it makes its case effectively.” Read more…)

 

Talk: Sal Annunziato on being “Part of the Family—A Mob Childhood” Mon., Dec. 17 (SOLD OUT!)

(THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT! REALLY, THERE ARE NO SEATS LEFT.)

We’ve all seen “The Godfather” and “Goodfellas.” But what’s it really like growing up in a mob family?

Sal Annunziato, whose grandfather Midge Renault was one of New Haven’s most infamous mobsters and whose father also ended up in the “family” business, tells all in this one-man show at Best Video Performance Space on Monday, Dec. 17.

Sound cool? Think again. Funny, horrific, sad, inspiring, Sal describes going through hell before finally emerging whole on the other side.

Sunday, Dec. 9, Family matinee holidays program

Join host Michael Wheatley on Sunday, Dec. 9, from 1—2 PM for a celebration of our favorite holiday films and cartoons of the past—a program for kids of all ages.

A countdown of family holiday films including the many versions of the Christmas Carol, Laurel and Hardy, Shirley Temple, Christmas Story, Bishop’s Wife, It’s a Wonderful Life, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 8 Crazy Nights, and from Roots, “The Gift” and more.

We are asking for a suggested donation of $5 to support Best Video Performance Space programming.

Sun., Oct. 28, family Halloween program from 1—2 PM

Don’t be scared!! Monsters will be at the Best Video Performance Space on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 1—2 PM. Cartoon favorites and clips from famous monster films for kids of all ages. Costumes are optional.

A donation of $5 to support the program is encouraged.

We have moved… things around!

It’s the end of an era, more or less. While we still have some VHS tapes—for the most part, movies that haven’t been released on DVD—we just moved the bulk of remaining VHS tapes out of the back corner of the store in prearation for giving them away.

Getting rid of this mass of VHS tapes freed up space and allowed us to make the following changes:

• We moved the Shakespeare, Performance Drama (plays), Broadway and Writers and Biography documentaries into that corner near the rest room. (No negative judgment intended.)

• The Romance section is now on that right hand wall and the Oscar categories have been moved to the cabinet behind the Coffee and Wine Bar.

•We removed three cabinets from the room behind the Coffee and Wine Bar, significantly opening up the Performance Space.

• All the Children’s and Family sections have been moved to the other side of the store near where the snacks are.

When you next come to the store, feel free to ask one of the employees for assistance if you need help finding something.